Dawn News

16 university teachers facing the axe

ISLAMABAD, July 20: Management of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology has decided not to renew contracts of 16 faculty members who were hired only four months ago and would become jobless just before Eid.

On the other hand, the management has advertised 40 new posts and instead of sending the applicants formal call letters, it was calling the candidates through phones to come for the test on July 25, Dawn has learnt.

According to sources, a total 18 visiting faculty members were appointed on February 27 and just after four months, 16 of them have been informed that “university does not need their services anymore”.

The advertisement for the new recruitments has also been given through additional registrar which is another unprecedented step because as per normal practice such advertisements are given through registrar’s office of the university, sources said.

According to documents available with Dawn, 16 faculty members: Sajjad Hussain, M Ishtiaq Ameer, Sajid Mehmood, Mohammad Wasim, Zoya Khan, Salman Saleem, M Sajjad Akbar, Nausheen Saba Khurram, Rabia Basheer, Mohammad Azam, Tahir Hussain, Beenish Abbas, Irfan Khalid, Sadia Fatima, Mohammad Hanif and Sidra Tehreem have been informed that their contracts will not be renewed so they will become irrelevant for the university after date of expiry of their contract.

When contacted, Zoya Khan, one of the affected teachers, said that she was only informed about the decision on Friday. However, she resolved to ask the management about the reason behind the move during her next visit to the varsity. Another faculty member, Sajid Mehmood, when contacted, was too disappointed about the decision to comment.

However, another faculty member requesting not to be named said, “It is very strange that university has decided to terminate our services without assigning any reason and is hiring new staff to replace us.

“We were doing fine but still management has decided to terminate our jobs which will be implemented just before Eidul Fitr and it will be really painful for us and our family members.

Decision makers should take notice of our issue,” he pleaded. “The varsity management was appointing new faculty members/staff and for that due procedure is not being followed,” he alleged.

Nawaz Jilani who was initially appointed as a lecturer along with the other 17 persons but was later offered the post of university’s public relations officer (PRO) said that Ramazan had nothing to do with the termination of faculty members. “They can find jobs somewhere else because there are lots of jobs for the competent persons in the market,” he remarked.

Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof Suleman D Mohammad revealed that he was neither taken into confidence while hiring the faculty members nor the same was done before firing them.

“At the moment there is an acting vice chancellor (VC) in the varsity. So decision of hiring or firing cannot be taken till the appointment of a permanent VC. “Being a dean, the management should have taken my suggestions at least before taking the decision,” he said.

Registrar of the university, Prof Dr Qamarul Haq, said that he was disappointed to know that faculty members were being terminated ahead of Eid and assured that he would talk to the VC to resolve the issue. When asked why the advertisement of hiring new faculty members was not issued with his name, he said: “I am not aware of any advertisement appearing in the press regarding new recruitments. If it really did, it was illegal.”

Campus Incharge Prof Dr Zahid Saleem, when contacted, said that it was a normal routine that university terminated the services of faculty members because in next semester courses could change. “Most of the faculty members are new, so they may perceive the decision as unusual. We will call them again if the services of anyone of them are required,” he assured.

Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Dr Mohammad Qaisar while talking to Dawn came up with a different version of the story saying the decision regarding not to revise the contracts had been taken on performance bases.

However, he assured that he would look into the matter on humanitarian grounds. As far as advertisement for new jobs was concerned it was published in press after getting approval from the relevant authority, he insisted.

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